FROM: 4/21/02 Radio Program
Why is our day of rest on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath day?
First of all, I would deny that "we" have a "day of rest" like the Jews had in Old Testament days. The New
Testament does not teach that the first day of the week is a "day of rest" as the Jews had on their Sabbath day.
Further, Christ declared to the Jews that there was authorized work going on during the Sabbath day. Remember
the priests? Christ said, "...on the Sabbath days the priests profane the Sabbath and are blameless" (Matthew 12:5).
They were "working" were they not, as they offered sacrifices, and did the things pertaining to their priestly office?
He also told the Pharisees, "Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days" (Matthew 12:12). Therefore,
this idea that every Jewish person in Old Testament days sat around and did absolutely nothing on the Sabbath is a
But, in dealing with the question, we find that God expects men to worship Him on the first day of the week (Jn.
4:24; Acts 2:42, 20:7). It has not been prescribed as a so-called "day of rest" in which one has certain travel
restrictions, and similar things. I know it is popular to call the first day of the week the "Sabbath" or "the Christian's
Sabbath," but this type of description is not found in the New Testament. If one so chooses to not work on the first
day of the week, giving this day to study, worship, prayer, meditation, and rest from labors, then he/she certainly has
every right to do so. However, we have no such command from God to forego work and other activities like they
did in Old Testament days.
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